My Journey

6 min read
GreyWolfIA's avatar
By GreyWolfIA
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Welcome to my gallery.  I do not deign to call myself an artist, really.  At least, not yet.  I am a new student of drawing, to be sure.  But whether I could be called an artist I will leave to history, as it is written by those who would observe my work, to judge.  What follows is the explanation of why I am here.  Read on, if you wish.

I tried drawing when I was young.  Around the 6th grade I drew stick figures and the like, wanted to try something more.  Going into junior high school I thought art would be fun and 7th Grade Art was a required course at my school (but was an elective after 7th grade), so there you have it.  But that's were it happened.  I was a loner for the most part, didn't have a person in my life that I could call a friend until around the 8th grade, and they were more or less estranged to me until around 10th grade when I met another who would end up becoming a lifelong friend.  They ended up drawing in the previous friend, too and we became a group (later this group would grow a bit more, but that's not important here).  My father and I didn't discuss my hobbies much other than my interest in computers, my parents were long separated, and I really disliked my stepmother at the time though we would later become closer.  Add all that to being a loner I really didn't have peers or guardians to observe and encourage me.

And my art sucked.  Really, it did.  Sure, it was because I was young and new at this, I didn't have the manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination yet.  Nor did I have the training and experience.  But I had noone there to remind me of this.  My art stunk on ice - and yet I seemed to be surrounded by people that took to it naturally.  On top of that, adults forget that children can be a lot more perceptive than they realize - I *saw* the look in that art teacher's eyes and knew her words to be a lie when she gave those empty generic compliments.  Not just my perception, even looking back through the lens of wisdom I know she was, as the saying went back then, "shining me on."

And I resented it.  Resented myself for being so stupid at art.  Ashamed.  So I walked away.  Never took another class, never again tried to draw.  Okay, I could draw graphs for math class.  Ruler, compass, pencil, no problem.  Same goes for drawing electrical diagrams - Dad is an electrical engineer and saw my aptitude for math and science early, thought I would follow in his footsteps so he started teaching me about things like Ohm's Law and the principles of capacitance, positive flow theory versus negative flow, etc.  Basic schematics are not really taxing artistically if you are just keeping them simple, most can be done with a stencil which is something we used before the age of clip art.

And I totally forgot about art.

Over a decade later the interest would be rekindled, sort of, when I find I have a knack for making mashups.  I could take one picture, clip it, trim it, paste it onto another, and make them work together.  Now, we call that "photoshopping" but this was back when Photoshop was still a fringe program early in its existence, only used by professionals or people who got their hands on a hacked copy.  I used MS Paint and a LOT of patience, plus a shareware program I found that could convert between bitmap and other filetypes,  but I enjoyed it.  By the way, that's how the first fan art in my gallery (for Gregor Comics) came to be - I used those skills to create some custom images that I could then turn around and trace onto a clean sheet of paper, making the final artwork.  But that's when something funny happened.

Parts of the picture couldn't be traced, either because I couldn't find a representative picture or I decided I didn't like the one I had gotten and time was running short.  So I did those bits free-handed.  I had fun doing it, and when I looked at the final picture ... I liked it.  It wasn't crap.  I actually made a good drawing.  How'd that happen?  Best I can figure, over the years by doing diagrams, playing games and whatever else - I was working my manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, now I was just finding a new outlet for them.  Or, an old outlet was being reintroduced to me.

Response to the fan art was very positive, especially by the author of the comic I did it for.  Even asked me if I had a site to promote, did I have other art people might want to see.  Of course I didn't, but this only made me feel better about the idea of trying to draw again.  Someone liked my work.  While talking to the author of another comic, Ben (of Zoe the Vampire) I started to see that this was something I wanted to do.  Ben gave me some tips for getting started - the most important of which was to draw every day, keep the skills growing.  Tyler echoed that sentiment and it was reinforced again when talking to Bridgett, the author of Squid Row.  Each of them have been very supportive and I thank them with all my heart.  They are the primary reasons you even see this post.  This DA login was originally set up just so I could view other peoples' works, maybe put a few on the watchlist to keep track of.

Now I have decided to make it an active gallery.  Filled out the profile, set up the first two folders - one for the fan art I have made (and may make in the future), the other for my sketches.  Usually those would go in the scrapbook, but the whole purpose of putting them up is for others to see this journey I mentioned.  The journey of a new artist, finding his way.  Already I have started to see what consumes artists: I see something now and want to sketch it, all the time I would normally be playing video games I spend sketching now, or reading about drawing, or researching clip art for reference pics.  Some time is spent thinking about what sort of original characters might I want to develop - and would they just be for drawing, or might I want to tell a story with them someday?

Time will tell.

If visiting this gallery was not to your liking, then I apologize for taking up your time.  Otherwise, I welcome anyone who would like to come along and see where this wonderful road takes me.  Feel free to comment on the view, no good journey is taken alone if you can avoid it.

Off we go ...
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